George Monbiot’s Advice – Ignore The State And Its Regulations, She’ll Be Right

We thought this was interesting as an injunction about how to make the world work better. Simply ignore the State, its regulations, the clipboard wielders and she’ll be right, the world will be a better place.

He’s talking about how the people are doing it for themselves, that Burkean idea that the little platoons organise and manage society better than any central office can. Not that he realises this of course, for to do so would be to say that the conservatives, the free marketeers, have a point.…

See More

The Problem With Modern Monopoly Theory – It’s About Monopsony

Noah Smith treats us to an overview of modern thinking – for which read progressives who just are darned well going to do something about large companies – on monopoly and antitrust. They’re beginning to come at this sideways, to insist that dominant companies are dominant in labour markets, therefore let’s break up Amazon and Facebook right now. There is a certain error to this argument. That error being that dominance in one market does not mean dominance in another.…

See More

Economy Energy Goes Bust And Pernicious Drivel About The Electricity Market

Of course it saddens when a company goes bust – dreams, livelihoods and capital all up in smoke, as here at Economy Energy as it closes down for being, well, actually, for being a bit terrible really. This also actually being the point of having a market economy, so that those who are a bit terrible do indeed get chucked out and go bust. That’s the entire mechanism by which we find out who isn’t completely terrible and thus climb the difficult ladder to the current state of glorious wealth for us all.…

See More

Reducing Regulation Increases Investment – Who Knew?

Sadly this paper makes a small mistake. The effect they’ve found, the causes, yes, all fine. It’s the description of the regulatory change which is wrong. Their statement is that regulation can increase investment. Nope, that’s not what is being shown here. Rather, standard regulation was such that orphan rugs could not attract investment. Allowing orphan drugs a lighter regulatory regime increased investment. It’s less investment here increasing investment.

At which point, just think how much more we could do with less regulation overall:

Moving beyond the valley of death: Regulation and venture capital investments in early-stage biopharmaceutical firms
Yujin Kim, Chirantan Chatterjee, Matthew J.…

See More

Fancy That, There Are Costs To Financial Regulation

We really must control the banks you know. Fat Cat B’stards that they are, can’t have them just doing as they wish!

The problem with this is that there are costs to everything. And the more we control he bankers then the less finance flows through to firms. Which, given that a reasonable purpose of a financial system is that firms get financed means that perhaps we don’t actually want to regulate them bankers too much:

The micro impact of macroprudential policies: Firm-level evidence
Meghana Ayyagari, Thorsten Beck, Maria Soledad Martinez Peria 11 December 2018

Macroprudential tools have been implemented widely following the Global Crisis.…

See More

Apple’s Tim Cook Entirely Right On Tech Regulation – Politicians Won’t Leave That Much Money Alone

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has said that further regulation of the tech companies is inevitable – he’s entirely correct in this. The task though is to understand why such further regulation of tech is inevitable and there rational views can differ. It might be because they’re big and important parts of the economy now and therefore they should and must be regulated. It could be because they wield power and as we know, it’s always necessary that there be democratic control of power so that we’ve a monopoly of it.…

See More

How Regressive Do We Want To Be About Climate Change? Less? So, Taxes…

All the economists – you know, the experts on matters economic – who study what to do about climate change keep insisting that imposing a cost of carbon emissions through a tax or permit scheme is the efficient manner of dealing witih climate change. To which the usual answer is, yes, but that’s regressive. So, instead, let’s have lots of planning and schemes and regulation instead. Well, yes, but.

As it turns out, taxes are so much more efficient that the burden on the poor falls, even if in isolation the taxes are more regressive.…

See More

The Nobel Laureate On Tech Company Monopoly And Regulation

It won’t have escaped your attention that rather large numbers of people are calling for the regulation of the tech companies. The Amazon, Google, Facebook (Apple and Microsoft often added, just because they’re large) nexus have lots of power over markets and thus therefore – well, therefore something. My own prejudice here is that certain people just cannot look at centres of power and or money without insisting that they, the complainers, should be the ones exercising that power and determining the disposition of that money.…

See More

How To Kill The EU – Enforce The EU’s Laws

If you were – say because you hate the institution – to sit down and try to work out a way to kill off the European Union then what would the scheme you come up with look like? The most obvious one is simply to demand, insist upon and enforce a rigid obedience to each and every, to the last whit and iota, of the laws that the EU itself has passed. It wouldn’t be long before every populace was ready for that final assault upon Brussels, would it?…

See More

What Do You Call Successful Deregulation Of U.S. Air Fares? A Good Start…

Robert W. Poole, a founder of the libertarian reason magazine and its director of transportation issues, comes full circle after nearly 50 years and again writes about airline deregulation. The U.S. government’s Civil Aeronautics Board used to set prices and restrict entry into the industry, on the chronic assumption that, without regulation, airlines would be eager to kill their customers, undaunted by the threat of lawsuits and boycotts, and unconcerned about their reputations.

The take-aways here:

  • Repeal of the Civil Aeronautics Board was achieved by Democrats, notably Teddy Kennedy.
See More